Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed legislation on Monday that will revamp the state’s fireworks law after a years-long push by the industry to legalize their use.
Starting on July 1, 2022, Ohioans can light off bottle rockets, Roman candles, and more while celebrating specific holidays.
Ohio previously only allowed consumers to use sparklers and a handful of other pyrotechnics. Anything else had to be taken out of the state within 48 hours of purchase.
Legal firework use in the state will be cleared for the following days:
- New Year’s Day
- Chinese New Year
- Cinco de Mayo
- Memorial Day weekend
- July 3rd, 4th, and 5th (as well as Fridays and Saturdays before and after)
- Labor Day weekend
- New Year’s Eve
Citizens may only set off fireworks on their own property or another private property with the owner’s permission. The law will allow municipalities to opt-out or restrict dates and times.
Those who wish to set off fireworks may not do so under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and anyone found guilty will be convicted of a first-degree misdemeanor.
Last summer, DeWine had vetoed a similar fireworks bill, but agreed to sign House Bill 172, saying it included important compromises that would improve safety.
Ohio’s new law provides safety guidance that retailers must include in a pamphlet for customers. Those recommendations include:
- Don’t allow children to play with fireworks.
- Set them off outside in a clear area, away from houses, dry leaves and other flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby in case of emergencies.
- Don’t try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Make sure other people are out of range before lighting them.
- Don’t have any part of your body over the firework while lighting it.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place and keep unused products away from where you’re igniting them.
- Don’t light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Don’t experiment with homemade fireworks.